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Inclusiveness and Gay Children of God

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

 And while I don't attend often, I do sometimes attend when invited.  Last time I went, gay issues were brought up twice and in 2 different meetings. It can very easily feel like a target is put upon the LGBT community by the Church.

May I ask the general vicinity of where you visited or if there was a reason you were invited (because there was a planned LGBT discussion perhaps?)?  Because I have never been in a meeting it has been brought up, so looking for reasons why it may have. I can imagine if you visited in an area where there was activism from various positions, that might’ve increase probability the topic would come up. 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

May I ask the general vicinity of where you visited or if there was a reason you were invited (because there was a planned LGBT discussion perhaps?)?  Because I have never been in a meeting it has been brought up, so looking for reasons why it may have. I can imagine if you visited in an area where there was activism from various positions, that might’ve increase probability the topic would come up. 

It was a ward near Sacramento.  My granddaughter was being blessed.  None of the ward members knew I was gay.  My partner wasn't with me.

The issue was brought up in priesthood meeting.  The lesson was about evil and corrupt judges in the Book of Mormon and the person gave an example corrupt judges in our day as the Supreme Court Justices for passing gay marriage.  The other statement was about BSA allowing "the gays" to join as a reason why the Church pulled out.

Edited by california boy
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13 hours ago, california boy said:

Perhaps "the gays" as firing squad targets is a bit of hyperbole, but so is "imagine we whip up hysteria with imagined fears that “they” will sodomize us all".  I do think that gay issues are a flash point for the Church.  Many would see some policies the Church has as being instituted specifically to discourage gay couples and their families from participating in the Church.  And while I don't attend often, I do sometimes attend when invited.  Last time I went, gay issues were brought up twice and in 2 different meetings. It can very easily feel like a target is put upon the LGBT community by the Church.

You see gay issues being brought up constantly on this board like whack-a-moles.  As soon as one is finished or shut down, another one appears.  While I feel a lot of posters are quite civil in these discussions there is a lot of pretty harsh things said in these threads.  Some here will post any survey or study no matter what the source or credibility to diminish the LGBT community.  Assumptions are often made in the worse possible light.  Some are sure the Second Coming is just around the corner because gays are no longer denied their civil rights.  I could probably pull out pretty anti gay remarks made in every one of these threads.  But to be fair, I would also have to pull out every positive and encouraging comment towards the LGBT community.

While you seem to be quite civil and open minded about LGBT issues, you and I both know that is not a universal feeling amongst members of the Church.  Like most large organizations, there is a wide gamut of feelings about this issue.  The extreme opinions and policies of the Church and it's members always get the most press and many people form beliefs on those extreme opinions.  But I also know that not everyone feels that way.  Some here seem to actually be ok with me expressing my point of view.  

If me and my partner started attending a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward, our attending would not be a neutral event just like any other couple that might start attending.  The truth probably lies somewhere in-between the post you quoted and your own.  Maybe there are some members that wish being gay wasn't such a huge issue with the Church.

Agree 100% with everything you said.  I'm gay myself (though single atm) and wouldn't dare subject myself to the stares, the whispers, and talking behind the back that would inevitably occur if I were to be out and attend church regularly.  

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15 hours ago, california boy said:

Perhaps "the gays" as firing squad targets is a bit of hyperbole, but so is "imagine we whip up hysteria with imagined fears that “they” will sodomize us all".  I do think that gay issues are a flash point for the Church.  Many would see some policies the Church has as being instituted specifically to discourage gay couples and their families from participating in the Church.  And while I don't attend often, I do sometimes attend when invited.  Last time I went, gay issues were brought up twice and in 2 different meetings. It can very easily feel like a target is put upon the LGBT community by the Church.

You see gay issues being brought up constantly on this board like whack-a-moles.  As soon as one is finished or shut down, another one appears.  While I feel a lot of posters are quite civil in these discussions there is a lot of pretty harsh things said in these threads.  Some here will post any survey or study no matter what the source or credibility to diminish the LGBT community.  Assumptions are often made in the worse possible light.  Some are sure the Second Coming is just around the corner because gays are no longer denied their civil rights.  I could probably pull out pretty anti gay remarks made in every one of these threads.  But to be fair, I would also have to pull out every positive and encouraging comment towards the LGBT community.

While you seem to be quite civil and open minded about LGBT issues, you and I both know that is not a universal feeling amongst members of the Church.  Like most large organizations, there is a wide gamut of feelings about this issue.  The extreme opinions and policies of the Church and it's members always get the most press and many people form beliefs on those extreme opinions.  But I also know that not everyone feels that way.  Some here seem to actually be ok with me expressing my point of view.  

If me and my partner started attending a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward, our attending would not be a neutral event just like any other couple that might start attending.  The truth probably lies somewhere in-between the post you quoted and your own.  Maybe there are some members that wish being gay wasn't such a huge issue with the Church.

I did not mean to imply that church members or church policies are liberal on this point. They are not.

I have just not seen it discussed or brought up much at all in church meetings.

And yeah, you would have a rough road if you came to a ward regularly.

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13 hours ago, california boy said:

It was a ward near Sacramento.  My granddaughter was being blessed.  None of the ward members knew I was gay.  My partner wasn't with me.

The issue was brought up in priesthood meeting.  The lesson was about evil and corrupt judges in the Book of Mormon and the person gave an example corrupt judges in our day as the Supreme Court Justices for passing gay marriage.  The other statement was about BSA allowing "the gays" to join as a reason why the Church pulled out.

Weird classes. When I teach I shut down politics hard.

Oddly we have talked a lot as Bishopric about the BSA exit but never discuss the reasons, mostly because no one cares and we just want the program to go away at this point.

Edited by The Nehor
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15 hours ago, gopher said:

Are there any scriptures or statements from past/present prophets that would lead any believing member to believe God will one day no longer consider homosexual behavior a sin?  It's not like the priesthood ban which prohibited blacks until 1978  from receiving the priesthood even if they lived the standards of the church.  And blacks could hold the priesthood in earlier times.  Homosexuality is either condemned or ignored in the scriptures or by prophets.  It seems unlikely and unfair if God waited until the last of the last days to condone behavior that He had never encouraged or allowed before. Of course, that doesn't excuse poor behavior by any member towards anyone who is LGBT.  I think most believing members would join together in condemning such behavior.

No scripture that I am aware of. On the other hand something new coming out in the Last Days would not surprise me at all. This is the dispensation when all will be revealed so we will get some answer at least as to why at some point.

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16 hours ago, gopher said:

Homosexuality is either condemned or ignored in the scriptures or by prophets. It seems unlikely and unfair if God waited until the last of the last days to condone behavior that He had never encouraged or allowed before.

Homosexuality makes no appearance in any book of Latter-day Saint scripture, unlike same-sex sexual behaviour. That's because, whilst such behaviour has been with us since the very dawn of time (and in an infinite number of cultural variations!), homosexuality itself is a historical novelty, with a known genealogy only 150 years old.

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7 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Homosexuality makes no appearance in any book of Latter-day Saint scripture, unlike same-sex sexual behaviour. That's because, whilst such behaviour has been with us since the very dawn of time (and in an infinite number of cultural variations!), homosexuality itself is a historical novelty, with a known genealogy only 150 years old.

Sort of, but you are splitting hairs a bit there. The verbal designation did not exist but men whose sexual activity was exclusively or almost exclusively homosexual have always been around. Women as well but their sexual freedom has historically been more limited in most cultures.

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34 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Sort of, but you are splitting hairs a bit there. The verbal designation did not exist but men whose sexual activity was exclusively or almost exclusively homosexual have always been around. Women as well but their sexual freedom has historically been more limited in most cultures.

Not entirely true. The concept was invented in Germany by a person whose name is known, though arguably homosexuality as exclusive amatory sprung up in the XVIIITH Century..

Edited by USU78

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11 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The verbal designation did not exist but men whose sexual activity was exclusively or almost exclusively homosexual have always been around.

This statement simply does not match the consensus of historians (including queer ones), anthropologists or even linguists. There is not only no evidence for it; there is abundant counter-evidence against it -- including all kinds of descriptors for sexual behaviours, roles and preferences in various languages, none of which even comes close to 'gay' or 'straight'.

But that's one of the most interesting challenges of really doing history: immersion in a particular historical moment tends to blind us to the reality of historical differences. In most cases, we simply cannot imagine the past as anything other than a version of the present where people wore different styles of clothes and didn't have mobile phones. And the same thing happens with differences across space. There's an entire literature now on how for most of the discipline's history, Western anthropologists simply tried to pigeonhole cultural differences into artificially fixed Western categories despite the fact that those categories often bore no relationship to the culture being studied and described. In most cases the categories didn't even make sense to the 'subjects'.

An example I've used before comes out of many* pre-Christian Melanesian societies that organised sexual behaviour so that it was divided between what occurred orally between older and younger males and what occurred vaginally between older males and their wives. Imagine that you were raised in the women's compound until you were about five and then you were taken to the men's compound by your father. There you entered a richly mythic world of dance, music, and ritual drama all designed to teach you that your future ability to father children depended on ingesting as much seminal fluid as possible for the next 10 to 12 years. Add in that the relationships you then developed with certain older males in the compound were deeply emotional and intellectual as well as sexual, and would last the rest of your life, even after you shifted from 'receiver of seed' to 'giver of seed'. Now imagine that a normal part of your maturation was to marry a woman and establish and provide for a household in the women's compound, which you visited frequently with gifts of food and the expectation of marital sex, after which you returned to the men's compound and fulfilled your culturally designated role as a provider of seed for younger males in the compound whom you had taken under your guiding and mentoring influence.

Now an anthropologist shows up and asks you if you're gay or straight. You tell her you don't know what those words mean, so she defines them for you. And you still don't know what those words mean.

Now imagine, if you will, if it had been Melanesian societies that expanded and colonised the globe, imposing their categories of being on the rest of us until the present day.

-----

* The fact that variations of this cultural complex occurred across many Melanesian societies but not across all highlights the immense diversity of how sex and sexuality have been defined and enacted over both space and time.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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30 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

This statement simply does not match the consensus of historians (including queer ones), anthropologists or even linguists. There is not only no evidence for it; there is abundant counter-evidence against it -- including all kinds of descriptors for sexual behaviours, roles and preferences in various languages, none of which even comes close to 'gay' or 'straight'.

But that's one of the most interesting challenges of really doing history: immersion in a particular historical moment tends to blind us to the reality of historical differences. In most cases, we simply cannot imagine the past as anything other a version of the present where people wore different styles of clothes and didn't have mobile phones. And the same thing happens with differences across space. There's an entire literature now on how for most of the discipline's history, Western anthropologists simply tried to pigeonhole cultural differences into artificially fixed Western categories despite the fact that those categories often bore no relationship to the culture being studied and described. In most cases the categories didn't even make sense to the 'subjects'.

An example I've used before comes out of many* pre-Christian Melanesian societies that organised sexual behaviour so that it was divided between what occurred orally between older and younger males and what occurred vaginally between older males and their wives. Imagine that you were raised in the women's compound until you were about five and then you were taken to the men's compound by your father. There you entered a richly mythic world of dance, music, and ritual drama all designed to teach you that your future ability to father children depended on ingesting as much seminal fluid as possible for the next 10 to 12 years. Add in that the relationships you then developed with certain older males in the compound were deeply emotional and intellectual as well as sexual, and would last the rest of your life, even after you shifted from 'receiver of seed' to 'giver of seed'. Now imagine that a normal part of your maturation was to marry a woman and establish and provide for a household in the women's compound, which you visited frequently with gifts of food and the expectation of marital sex, after which you returned to the men's compound and fulfilled your culturally designated role as a provider of seed for younger males in the compound whom you had taken under your guiding and mentoring influence.

Now an anthropologist shows up and asks you if you're gay or straight. You tell her you don't know what those words mean, so she defines them for you. And you still don't know what those words mean.

Now imagine, if you will, if it had been Melanesian societies that expanded and colonised the globe, imposing their categories of being on the rest of us until the present day.

-----

* The fact that variations of this cultural complex occurred across many Melanesian societies but not across all highlights the immense diversity of how sex and sexuality have been defined and enacted over both space and time.

Don’t be patronizing. Yes, the concept of being gay is relatively new in western culture and is a social construct but that does not contradict my statement that that there have always been those who wanted same sex sex and sought it primarily or exclusively.

The concept “member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” is new and you had asked a living follower of Jesus or Moses of Enoch if they were a member they would be confused too but do you think you and I would argue there is no continuity or similarity between them and us?

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50 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

This statement simply does not match the consensus of historians (including queer ones), anthropologists or even linguists. There is not only no evidence for it; there is abundant counter-evidence against it -- including all kinds of descriptors for sexual behaviours, roles and preferences in various languages, none of which even comes close to 'gay' or 'straight'.

But that's one of the most interesting challenges of really doing history: immersion in a particular historical moment tends to blind us to the reality of historical differences. In most cases, we simply cannot imagine the past as anything other a version of the present where people wore different styles of clothes and didn't have mobile phones. And the same thing happens with differences across space. There's an entire literature now on how for most of the discipline's history, Western anthropologists simply tried to pigeonhole cultural differences into artificially fixed Western categories despite the fact that those categories often bore no relationship to the culture being studied and described. In most cases the categories didn't even make sense to the 'subjects'.

An example I've used before comes out of many* pre-Christian Melanesian societies that organised sexual behaviour so that it was divided between what occurred orally between older and younger males and what occurred vaginally between older males and their wives. Imagine that you were raised in the women's compound until you were about five and then you were taken to the men's compound by your father. There you entered a richly mythic world of dance, music, and ritual drama all designed to teach you that your future ability to father children depended on ingesting as much seminal fluid as possible for the next 10 to 12 years. Add in that the relationships you then developed with certain older males in the compound were deeply emotional and intellectual as well as sexual, and would last the rest of your life, even after you shifted from 'receiver of seed' to 'giver of seed'. Now imagine that a normal part of your maturation was to marry a woman and establish and provide for a household in the women's compound, which you visited frequently with gifts of food and the expectation of marital sex, after which you returned to the men's compound and fulfilled your culturally designated role as a provider of seed for younger males in the compound whom you had taken under your guiding and mentoring influence.

Now an anthropologist shows up and asks you if you're gay or straight. You tell her you don't know what those words mean, so she defines them for you. And you still don't know what those words mean.

Now imagine, if you will, if it had been Melanesian societies that expanded and colonised the globe, imposing their categories of being on the rest of us until the present day.

-----

* The fact that variations of this cultural complex occurred across many Melanesian societies but not across all highlights the immense diversity of how sex and sexuality have been defined and enacted over both space and time.

I love learning more about the historical complexity of sexuality and sexual identity. It dovetails nicely with what we know about sexuality and sexual identity from a psychological perspective as well.  Although it is politically incorrect to challenge the ascendant narrative, the actual research confirms what you are saying about the role of social constructions in shaping an individual's experience of sexuality. 

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11 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Yes, the concept of being gay is relatively new in western culture and is a social construct but that does not contradict my statement that that there have always been those who wanted same sex sex and sought it primarily or exclusively.

No, this is literally the very point contested by historians, anthropologists and linguists. Fixed, gendered sexual identity has no historical precedent. I'm not being patronising as much as I'm trying, nicely, to point out that you're dead wrong. 

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Imagine that you were raised in the women's compound until you were about five and then you were taken to the men's compound by your father. There you entered a richly mythic world of dance, music, and ritual drama all designed to teach you that your future ability to father children depended on ingesting as much seminal fluid as possible for the next 10 to 12 years.

So this started at age five?  In our society, that would be seen as abuse and assumptions that this led to dysfunctional relationships and individuals would be automatic for most, I would guess.

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10 minutes ago, kllindley said:

Although it is politically incorrect to challenge the ascendant narrative, the actual research confirms what you are saying about the role of social constructions in shaping an individual's experience of sexuality. 

As Hanne Blank points out in the piece I linked to above, the ascendant narrative has proved politically practical despite its known flaws and inaccuracies. One of my former colleagues at the university told me outright that she was careful not to challenge the narrative too directly with her research specifically because she accepted and endorsed its political usefulness.

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8 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

No, this is literally the very point contested by historians, anthropologists and linguists. Fixed, gendered sexual identity has no historical precedent. I'm not being patronising as much as I'm trying, nicely, to point out that you're dead wrong. 

And I did not say fixed, gendered identity has a historical precedent nor was my analogy meant to imply it.

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56 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

And I did not say fixed, gendered identity has a historical precedent nor was my analogy meant to imply it.

Then we are decidedly not discussing homosexuality, which is by original and current definition a fixed, gendered sexual identity. 

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3 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Then we are decidedly not discussing homosexuality, which is by original and current definition a fixed, gendered sexual identity. 

No, to say someone in Ancient Greece engaged in homosexual activity is perfectly clear and correct.

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3 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

This statement simply does not match the consensus of historians (including queer ones), anthropologists or even linguists. There is not only no evidence for it; there is abundant counter-evidence against it -- including all kinds of descriptors for sexual behaviours, roles and preferences in various languages, none of which even comes close to 'gay' or 'straight'.

But that's one of the most interesting challenges of really doing history: immersion in a particular historical moment tends to blind us to the reality of historical differences. In most cases, we simply cannot imagine the past as anything other than a version of the present where people wore different styles of clothes and didn't have mobile phones. And the same thing happens with differences across space. There's an entire literature now on how for most of the discipline's history, Western anthropologists simply tried to pigeonhole cultural differences into artificially fixed Western categories despite the fact that those categories often bore no relationship to the culture being studied and described. In most cases the categories didn't even make sense to the 'subjects'.

An example I've used before comes out of many* pre-Christian Melanesian societies that organised sexual behaviour so that it was divided between what occurred orally between older and younger males and what occurred vaginally between older males and their wives. Imagine that you were raised in the women's compound until you were about five and then you were taken to the men's compound by your father. There you entered a richly mythic world of dance, music, and ritual drama all designed to teach you that your future ability to father children depended on ingesting as much seminal fluid as possible for the next 10 to 12 years. Add in that the relationships you then developed with certain older males in the compound were deeply emotional and intellectual as well as sexual, and would last the rest of your life, even after you shifted from 'receiver of seed' to 'giver of seed'. Now imagine that a normal part of your maturation was to marry a woman and establish and provide for a household in the women's compound, which you visited frequently with gifts of food and the expectation of marital sex, after which you returned to the men's compound and fulfilled your culturally designated role as a provider of seed for younger males in the compound whom you had taken under your guiding and mentoring influence.

Now an anthropologist shows up and asks you if you're gay or straight. You tell her you don't know what those words mean, so she defines them for you. And you still don't know what those words mean.

Now imagine, if you will, if it had been Melanesian societies that expanded and colonised the globe, imposing their categories of being on the rest of us until the present day.

-----

* The fact that variations of this cultural complex occurred across many Melanesian societies but not across all highlights the immense diversity of how sex and sexuality have been defined and enacted over both space and time.

Really?  We are expected to discuss 5 year olds having oral sex with adults?  And this ties into how the Church can be more inclusive to gays?

I think you should seriously reconsider derailing this thread with introducing this new topic.

Edited by california boy

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6 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

No, to say someone in Ancient Greece engaged in homosexual activity is perfectly clear and correct.

As I pointed out in my post that you responded to, same-sex sexual acts are ubiquitous and always have been. But to call an ancient Greek a ‘homosexual’ or to refer to homosexuality in ancient Greece would be demonstrably historically inaccurate. 

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4 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

As I pointed out in my post that you responded to, same-sex sexual acts are ubiquitous and always have been. But to call an ancient Greek a ‘homosexual’ or to refer to homosexuality in ancient Greece would be demonstrably historically inaccurate. 

I agree that there would be no one called a homosexual in Greece. However some Greeks engaged in homosexual activity. The word is still correct as it means same sex sexual activity.

This less correct:

 

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44 minutes ago, california boy said:

Really?  We are expected to discuss 5 year olds having oral sex with adults?  And this ties into how the Church can be more inclusive to gays?

I think you should seriously reconsider derailing this thread with introducing this new topic.

Who said anything about discussing the practices of pre-Christian Melanesian societies? I saw it as an example of cultural diversity in sexuality that serves as evidence against believing that the modern Western creation of "gay" is somehow true, regardless of how adamantly current advocates demand it is.  

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Yes, the concept of being gay is relatively new in western culture and is a social construct but that does not contradict my statement that that there have always been those who wanted same sex sex and sought it primarily or exclusively.

You seem awfully certain. Wayback Machine?

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44 minutes ago, kllindley said:

Who said anything about discussing the practices of pre-Christian Melanesian societies?

It’s OK, mate. He’s misread and/or completely misapplied what I wrote, and addressing it will only create the derail he accused me of. 

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